A Medical Practitioner, Dr. Deborah Osisanwo, stressed the importance of improved menstrual hygiene and advised females against using sanitary pads for longer than six hours to eliminate the risk of rashes and vaginal yeast infection.
She warned that women who use sanitary pads for longer than eight hours may come down with a disease known as toxic shock syndrome.
Online platform, Cleveland Clinic, describes toxic shock syndrome as a rare but serious condition caused by certain strains of bacteria that can cause toxins to spread into the bloodstream, causing severe organ damage or death.
Osisanwo said women who use sanitary pads for more than eight hours may experience fever and, in some cases, shock, if their condition is not appropriately managed.
The expert, who is also the National Committee Chairman on Menstrual Hygiene, noted that it is always safe to change a sanitary pad every six hours and that they should not be changed according to blood flow.
She said, “If we don’t change them, we will have issues with microorganisms that will grow on the sanitary towels and cause infection. When we have menstrual flow and it is not changed regularly, the microorganisms will find the blood conducive for growth.
“When we want to culture organisms in the laboratory, we make use of blood. There are some nutrients in the blood that encourage the growth of organisms. So, when we have blood tissue in the vagina, which has been in the sanitary pad for a long time, these organisms will see it as an avenue to start growing, causing retrograde movement of organisms from the sanitary towel into the vagina and even into the cervix. This causes a serious problem.
women who use sanitary pads or tampons for longer than eight hours may come down with a disease known as toxic shock syndrome
“Menstrual hygiene is so important in the lives of women when they are menstruating because we want them to have good sanitation for themselves and their bodies.
“Some people use sanitary towels or even wrappers for a long time. When that happens, we have what we call toxic shock syndrome, which occurs in some people who use sanitary towels or even wrappers for more than eight hours. You will have a fever developing in such a patient, and if you’re not a careful patient, you will go into shock.”
She lamented that women in rural communities still engage in poor menstrual hygiene, adding, “We have noticed that in rural settings, women don’t make use of sanitary towels. They still make use of wrappers or clothes cut into pieces.
“These women, after using the cloth, don’t know how to clean it properly. They just go ahead to rinse it up, spread it, and use it again. We have also seen in some rural cities that they don’t have good water to take care of themselves when menstruating.
“When menstruating, it is ideal that a woman bath regularly. When you remove your sanitary pad, clean up properly with good water. If you don’t use good water, you could introduce microorganisms into your body and they will start multiplying to create the effect I talked about earlier.
“So, as a woman, when menstruating, it is so proper to clean up properly. Have a proper bath, and clean your body because you’re still the one to go into the kitchen to cook for the family. And once you are infected, you can infect everybody. So you wash your body properly, and wash your hands properly before cooking.”